10 Easy Ways to Make Your Dental Team Smile

Today’s guest blogger is Cathy Warschaw of www.WarschawLearningInstitute.com. Thanks, Cathy!

There is a direct link between job satisfaction rates and whether or not employees feel they are recognized or rewarded for their performance. When employees feel their hard work goes unnoticed, they can become disgruntled, frustrated and dissatisfied. This can spill over into how they treat patients and one another. Yet recognizing performance does not have to be a cumbersome or difficult task. In fact, small gestures can go a long way towards making employees feel valued and increasing the morale of an entire team.

And when the happiness quotient in your practice rises, it can have a positive impact on customer service, which enables your patients to feel more relaxed and at ease during their visits. Plus, it can elevate the entire mood of the office, making it a far more pleasant environment for patients and practitioners alike.

Here are 10 quick and easy ways you can make your dental team members smile. Best of all, none of them involves any great expense!

  1. Say a simple Thanks! A clear and genuine word of gratitude to praise a specific act can be one of the easiest ways to make an employee feel their hard work is well worth the effort.
  2. Praise special accomplishments during team meetings. Everyone appreciates having their efforts recognized within the larger community. And it’s a great opportunity for everyone to applaud individual team members.
  3. Reward good work with comp time. Everyone appreciates some extra time away from the office, so when possible, reward team members with any afternoon off.
  4. Pass out a special token or memento. Purchase a special item, or even just find a large stone and paint it with the saying “You Rock!”, that you can pass around to team members each week to recognize good work. They can display it with pride near their workstation.
  5. Recognize team members privately. As great as it is to recognize performance within the broader team, employees also appreciate being praised in private for the important work they do to benefit the practice.
  6. Send a note to a team member’s spouse, family, or significant other to say thanks. Often, families make sacrifices in order for their loved ones to succeed. Be sure to send a note to let them know that you value their support as well.
  7. Decorate the team member’s workstation area. Nothing delivers a smile like a surprise. Take a moment to decorate a workstation with a few balloons and streamers as a way to show your appreciation.
  8. Serve your staff coffee. Pick a day to hit the office a few minutes early, then get a pot of coffee ready and surprise your staff as they arrive that day. It’s an easy way to say thanks to the entire team and to start the day off on a bright note.
  9. Give them a break! Similar to granting some extra comp time, it’s easy to award a Gift Certificate worth an extra 30 minutes at lunchtime to deserving employees. Then let them choose, in advance, which day they’d like to redeem it.
  10. Stock a Treasure Chest. Many dental practices have treasure chests for young children, allowing them to pick a toy after each visit. Instead, stock a treasure chest with fun adult-oriented gifts and let your top performers close their eyes and pick a reward! It’ll bring out the joy in everyone.

Written by Cathy Warschaw
© Warschaw Learning Institute 2011